The launching of a top body for supervising safety and compliance in the garment sector, in continuation of the post-Rana Plaza collapse remediation process, might be announced today.
Representatives of different bodies have been holding meetings over the last two days to form RMG Sustainability Council (RSC). They are scheduled to announce the terms, conditions and operational modalities at a press briefing following a meeting.
The platform would be run with representation from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Department of Inspection for Factories and Establishments (Dife), Accord, union leaders and government high-ups.
“It will be operational after the steering committee and us agree on our drafts on the composition of the RSC,” said one representative who attended the meetings, asking not to be named.
“So far we have had prescriptions and suggestions from Accord. Now we have an opportunity to take part and steer a conversation with reason, national context and be aligned in a collaborative spirit,” added the official.
“It will be an all-inclusive platform. No buyer or stakeholder wants to subject factories to multiple audits and duplicate practices. Therefore it will be set up with outstanding protocols that not only satisfy all brands but also the manufacturers,” said the representative. The aim is also to oversee issues related to workplace safety, labour standards and others by taking over the Accord’s operations and inheriting its infrastructure and staff, he said.
All of the Accord’s existing transparency features will be maintained, including full disclosure of all results of inspection and remediation activities on a public website.
It will work in cooperation with the government to ensure that its work compliments that of Remediation Coordination Cell, an entity under the labour and employment ministry that would eventually be responsible for ensuring workplace safety in Bangladesh’s garment factories.
Over the course of this year, the Accord will work intensively with the BGMEA to get the RSC ready.
The RSC will be operating under the government’s legal framework and in close cooperation with the commerce ministry while collaborating with the labour and employment ministry and Dife.
The RSC will create an independent national compliance and safety monitoring regime for the ready-made garment industry.